Dynamics of the ventilatory response to hypoxia in humans.
Clement ID., Robbins PA.
Dynamic responses of the ventilatory system to rapid variations in isocapnic hypoxia were studied in five subjects. Sawtooth-shaped inputs were presented at constant amplitude with periods of 120, 90, 60, 45 and 30 sec, and square-wave inputs at different amplitudes with periods of 120, 60 and 30 sec. A breath-by-breath model fitting technique was used to assess whether any of a number of first order models of hypoxic ventilatory dynamics could fit the data adequately. The following was found: 1) An equation for the desaturation of haemoglobin provided a better expression for hypoxia in the model than did a hyperbolic function of PO2. 2) The gain and/or offset model parameters varied significantly between experiments, but the time constant and pure delay terms did not. 3) The time constants, and to a lesser extent the pure delays, were found to vary significantly between sawtooth experiments of different frequencies. The failure of a single set of dynamic parameters to describe all the responses suggests that the model is incomplete. 4) There was significant asymmetry in the hypoxic response with the on-transient dynamics faster than the off-transient dynamics. The results of the model fitting study suggest that a first order model cannot fully describe the hypoxic ventilatory dynamics.